Category Archives: Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff

The Age of Moonshot Ideals?

It is hopeless to try to guess at how the future will judge us. We are in the thick of things, and we don’t know what will emerge as important or significant over time. Events that seem to us exciting … Continue reading

Posted in Machines / gadgets / technology / games, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff | 1 Comment

Sloterdijk’s Spheres

I finished reading volume 3 of Sloterdijk’s Spheres trilogy, and then went back and read the whole series again. It has been a delightful struggle to think through the rich banquet of ideas and images he offers. I have written up … Continue reading

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Knowledge, that human practice

Ordinarily, we think knowledge is having in one’s head some kind of story or an explanation that matches how Things Really Are. This ordinary conception has at least two problems. First, it assumes that there is a way Things Really … Continue reading

Posted in Historical episodes, Items of the academy / learning, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff | 13 Comments

Living in the light of necessity

[excerpt from To View from Eternity] The neoplatonists urge us to see our troubled lives from the view of eternity. The world issues from the metaphysical character of the One, which means that the order of the planets and the balance … Continue reading

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Needed: a handbook for e-life

There probably is room in today’s ideosphere for a handbook for living a balanced life in our ephemeral e-world. If course, for a great many humans (the majority? I think so, but I’m not sure) there really is no e-world, … Continue reading

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Victorian anthropology

[Reading George W. Stocking, Victorian Anthropology (Free Press, 1987)] Stocking’s book is most centrally about how 19th-century upper-class British males managed to combine their sense of superiority with an emerging awareness of Darwinian evolution. Many loose threads needed to be woven … Continue reading

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Living cynically

(an excerpt from Doubts) The contemporary German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk defines “cynicism” as enlightened false consciousness. It is what results when we know all too well our own weaknesses and limitations, and our own involvement in dastardly practices, but then … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Historical episodes, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff, Stacks of Books | 7 Comments